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Blueway: Recreation and Care

The Roanoke River Blueway is dedicated to promoting stewardship and appreciation of the Upper Roanoke River watershed’s natural and cultural resources. This involves improving river access with facilities like boat ramps and trails, facilitating activities such as kayaking and fishing. These initiatives enhance the public’s connection to the river’s tranquil environment. Education is a central part of the Blueway’s mission, with programs and partnerships aimed at informing the community about the river’s importance and fostering environmental stewardship. Additionally, the Blueway hosts events that encourage community engagement in conservation efforts and recreational activities, supporting the preservation and celebration of the river’s heritage.

Leave No Trace

Roanoke River Blueway users are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace, a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors based on seven principles:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

To facilitate Leave No Trace principles, Blueway users should access the Blueway only at designated access points. Most Roanoke River Blueway access points have trash receptacles and many have restroom facilities and other amenities. See the Roanoke River Blueway Access information for amenities available at each access location.

River Cleanup

Blueway users and other stakeholders are encouraged to help protect and improve water quality through participation in, or sponsorship of, watershed and environmental events or organizations. Annual events include:

Water Quality

Waters that do not meet water quality standards are placed on a federally mandated 303(d) impaired waters list per the Federal Clean Water Act and the Virginia Water Quality Monitoring, Information and Restoration Act. Impaired Waters that are impaired due to human activities require a development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) which is a reduction plan or “pollution diet” that defines the limit of a pollutant(s) that a water can receive and still meet water quality standards. Efforts are underway to address water quality in the Upper Roanoke River watershed including development of the Roanoke River Watershed Clean Up Plan (TMDL Implementation Plan).